Barcelona closed on 23rd March, 2023 its term as the first World Capital of Time Policies. The World Capital award, created by the Local and Regional Governments Time Network, aims at increasing awareness and giving more visibility to time policies, so their positive impacts can be extended among society, companies and the planet. Barcelona is a pioneering city on time policies, and it is part of the Local and Regional Governments Time Network’s Executive Board. Such an institution is currently coordinated by the Barcelona Time Use Initiative (BTUI).
The third Barcelona Deputy Mayor, Laia Bonet, highlighted how being the first World Capital of Time Policies “recognised Barcelona’s leadership, and allowed us to consolidate and strengthen time policies within the city”. Laia Bonet stated that it is necessary to achieve a positive change on individual and collective time organisation, “as effectively implementing the right to time through public policies is a tool for tackling key challenges that are already being addressed, and will be addressed more strongly in the near future”.
During the event, a summary of activities carried out during 2022 was presented, and representatives from organisations who promoted actions related to time policies in different areas exposed their cases: the awareness campaign promoted by the Bicicleta Club Catalunya for a more sustainable mobility; talks held in districts by adults on rest time and sleep; and workshops for children, such as “Barcelona, the Temple of Time”. Private sector experiences have also been presented, with the participation of ACEFAT, a member company of the NUST Network, and the experience of one of the most innovative recent public policies, the VilaVeïna project.
Bolzano is now taking over Barcelona as the new World Capital of Time Policies. Bolzano’s City Councillor Angelo Gennaccaro has represented the Italian city during the event.
In this regard, the councillor of Commerce, Markets, Interior and Treasury, Montserrat Ballarín, congratulated Bolzano’s Councillor and highlighted that “we will continue to share experiences and build together cities that guarantee the right to time for all citizens”. Ballarín encouraged organisations, companies, associations, and social partners who shared their experiences “to continue working in order to make the right to time present in your spheres of action and organisations”.
Barcelona City Council CEO, Sara Berbel stated that “holding the World Capital award gives the possibility to promote innovative public policies that contribute to advancing towards the right to time. In Barcelona, we have developed more than 70 activities, including children’s workshops such as Barcelona, the Temple of Time, health awareness projects such as Time, Rest and Sleep, or activities aimed at the physical education teachers in relation to time, sport, and health.”